Digital Finds

joseph dot reeves at thehumanjourney dot net

Ordance Survey confidential briefing to ministers

Sep 22, 2009 by Joseph Reeves

This has been around for a while (just over a month), but if you haven't seen it, WikiLeaks has a copy of a confidential briefing given by OS to an unnamed minister:

From the provided summary:

Ordnance Survey, the UK's mapping agency is preparing a new hundred million pound plan for a Digital Master Map of Great Britain. The document here presents "confidential advice to Ministers" - "For the Minister and private office only" by Sir Rob Margetts, Vanessa Lawrence and Charlie Villar on costs of keeping Ordnance Survey business model as now, moving to utility ("free data") model or moving to hybrid model. 22 scanned pages.

These costs have been the topic of discussion because OS has rejected outside analyses which suggest wider benefit to UK economy from moving to utility model. Instead it prepared this study in secret.

Content of this study suggests that OS has ignored costs of its preferred model ("hybrid") and overestimated costs of utility ("free data") model.

Our source states that if this document is not published then OS will continue with its plans; OS is behaving unaccountably - and refusing to publish studies that would be torn apart in public analysis.
This file has not been released online before but has been shown to a limited number of sympathetic audiences.

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